4 in custody after armed robbery, shootout with police in Elizabeth; 5th suspect sought

Police say four suspects have been arrested after they allegedly robbed an auto parts store

ELIZABETH - Police say four suspects are in custody after they allegedly robbed a scrap metal shop in Elizabeth while armed with handguns and an AK-47, then exchanged fire with police who responded to the scene.

It happened just after 3 p.m. on North Avenue West near Route 1 & 9 Friday. Officials say the suspects entered Bayway Scrap Metals near Newark Liberty International Airport and were loading up a U-Haul truck with auto parts and metals when someone summoned authorities to the scene.

Officers arrived and confronted the suspects, who then allegedly pulled out their weapons. The suspects split up, but police eventually arrested four of them.

READ MORE: New Jersey Crime Stories

Michael Howard, 22, Rafael Clemons, 27, Sharod Saunders, 30, and Steven Chambers, 47, were charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree carjacking, aggravated assault and multiple weapons offenses.

Bail for each defendant was set at $1 million.

A fifth suspect remains at large, police say. He may have escaped in a stolen white vehicle, possibly a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the missing suspect.

For extended Chopper 12 video over the scene, watch the clip to the left or go to News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.

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